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Hot Rods Anybody under 30 building?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JimSibley, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,443


    I am curious, anybody on here under the age of 30, and building a car? Here is my kids car. He is building it, he is 18 and he is doing it his way. It traditional for the mid 60s and he has a vision for it. Anybody else? 36043697-A2DC-415F-AFFD-8AF10DD1278D.jpeg
  2. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 7,498


    30 years ago;)

    Good on ya for keeping your son interested. He’s got good genes in him!
    dana barlow, 427 sleeper and Stogy like this.
  3. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,505

    Model A Gomez

    A better question would be anyone under 50 building on here. I think the majority are retired, me included.
  4. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,213

    from Burton, MI

    I was building back then...almost 20 years ago! I built my T bucket in my mid-20's. Before that I did a few newer models. We have to keep these kids interested to keep the hobby alive. I'd hate to see hot rodding fade away.

  5. They are building ,

    I’m 42 and doing it.

    most are into tuners , euro cars snd 4x4’s why cause they are affordable!

    ive seen cruiser cars get popular up here ( 60’s 70’s 80’s ) land yachts.

    50’s cars are always popular .

    Just saw about 10 40’s and older cars peel outta my town heading north , must of been a meet up before a show or something , but the average age looked “ grey beard “

    heck I found a 40 Ford for sale the owner is 80 and wants to sell as his kids and grand kids don’t care about the car .

    I dunno , I guess there is just too much more in the hobby to be interested in the just “ hot rods “. Cost is another one.

    why buy a 40 Ford when I can buy a 10 year old Honda or vw and with a little bit of money out handle , out accelerate and out drag that old stinky barge that cost 4 x times what my little beater cost ?

    I dunno I love old cars snd a keeping it going .
  6. JJK
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 896


    You don't see kids under a tree tinkering like you did 30yrs ago Coupled with the fact old cars are expensive and time consuming its almost impossible to build a car, hold a job, and go to school anymore without ALOT of help from someone who can guide a project along.
  7. Things have changed since I was young (I'm 72). I and most of my friends bought our first house when we were in our early 20's. We had (a bit of) job security. We didn't have $80K in college debt (when did it become OK to NOT work your way through college?). We could buy a fairly decent daily driver for about (or less than) a month's wages. Old cars were just that... old cars! A 20 year old car was a '46 Ford, and they were everywhere for a dime a dozen.
    Young people now struggle with just the opposite... Houses in most markets are in the $500K range, paying off student loans (or expending massive energy trying to get that debt forgiven), a decent DD is about 6-8 months wages, if not more, and a 20 year old car is a tuner: the '46 Fords are owned by older guys who think they are made of gold, and look at their old cars as part of their retirement nest egg, rather than pricing their stuff reasonably!
    It's no wonder young people can't get into it.
    Oh yeah, when I was that age, tap beer was $.25 a glass... now it's $4 or $5! "The times, they are a changing."
  8. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,377

    from Ok

    The younger guys that I am aware of with an interest in old stuff are buyers, not builders.
    redoxide, Roger Loupias and 2OLD2FAST like this.
  9. Zax
    Joined: May 21, 2017
    Posts: 283

    1. 1952-59 Ford Social Group

    Internet forums like this aren’t exactly where the under 30 crowd hangs out. There are still a handful of young guys building traditional rods and customs. I think one big hurdle is many have never driven or ridden in one.

    Heck, even middle aged guys like myself think I’m out of my mind for driving mine around without any modernization to the vehicle aside from seatbelts. The trend is resto-mod sadly. They want cars that look vintage with modern drivetrains.
  10. ken bogren
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 938

    ken bogren

    There's a couple of young guys building amc cars
    Greenblade and Gremlinguy like this.
  11. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 1,460

    lumpy 63

    Several in my area, two brothers ages 19 and 16 built a 50 chevy pick up with a 235 with 2 1 bbls and split exhaust also building a 55 big window with a 283 and 3 on the tree. Also a 30 yr old around the corner with a 64 C10 and a 39 Chevy coupe he's building. My illegitimate step son is building a 57 big window with a BBC He also has an off topic Camaro with a BBC and twin turbos. I help them all with parts and knowledge.
  12. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 502


    I was under 30 when i started my current project '37 Buick, but now im 33 and it probably wont be out and about for another yr if i can stop dragging my feet. I had other builds before the Buick, but they were off topic trucks.
    I like having big overwhelming projects and im too cheap to buy anything close to nice finished car :rolleyes:
  13. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,971

    Rand Man

    I just talked to a hot rod shop today. Said they can’t take on any new work, because they can’t find help.
    AHotRod and Roger Loupias like this.
  14. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 802

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    My 22 year old son has been into cars his whole life. At 18 years old he was scouted and hired on with a local body shop that builds customs and hot rods. He's more into the muscle car scene and drag racing, but his first car at age 13 was a 65. It was 48 years old already. He's the oldest of 5 kids. My middle daughter, currently 14 has expressed an interest in cars as well, but likes cars that are swoopier like late model Corvettes and Ferraris. I know where there's a 59 Chevy pickup sitting in pieces I'm tempted to pick up for her, but honestly I have no place to put it. My youngest son, now 10, claims he wants an El Camino like mine and his brother's, we'll see where that goes when he gets closer to driving age.

    wicarnut and guthriesmith like this.
  15. Currently 29 and have done 2 1968 rigs, while not currently doing a HAMB friendly build, just completed a 68 C10 full restoration. Had help from other grandfather as its both of our ways to keep busy in downtown. My 33 pickup is next up though, Ive been just collecting parts to hit it hard when and crank it out. I love the truck to much for it to be down too long so want to have most everything in hand before I tear it apart.
  16. this hits the nail on the head. I have grown up in dropped axle, drum brake cars and truck so Ive always known what I was getting into with rods and customs. Most of my friends are used to 80/90s stuff with power everything and AC. I would take buddies on rides in my 33 and they would be really shocked at how they ride, I never let them drive because I was way to leery of them being to handle the horsepower as 300-400hp in a early rod can easily turn hairy if not expecting it.
  17. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,078

    from Michigan

    Yeah, I had my 21 year old nephew in the shoebox last week and he said "wow, it rides really nice!", he thought it would ride and drive terrible, etc.

    So I'm 44, and I only know a small handful of people building anything around here period, most of them are actually younger than me. And most of my buddies that have stuff already have what they want done, and are just maintaining the fleet. Most of us have a few boats, and maintaining those suckers is way worse than a car....
  18. To be perfectly honest I don't know anyone under 30 building hot rods or customs, all my fellow club member are over 60 and older, several of the guys are still drive the cars they built when they we in their 30's.

    I'm starting to believe the the story's about how the hobby is dying, this thread makes you think, HRP
  19. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 620


    If the focus here is 1965 and earlier, you have to remember that in 1965, a '32 ford was only thirty three years old.
    Translate that into today's terms, and thirty three years old means 1988. The older stuff is harder to find, and when you do find it, it is either way overpriced for the younger guys, or needs way too much work. I fear that it may also be a case of our cars being 'out of fashion' with a lot of the younger guys. I hate myself for letting those words past my lips, but I just don't think a lot of the 'spring chickens' think what we do is cool. After all, did the youth of the 1920's and 1930's hot rod the old horse drawn buggies and carts.................o_O
    wicarnut and Guy Patterson like this.
  20. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 5,813

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    My son’s are 16 and 17 and building HAMB-friendly pickups...although, progress is slow.

  21. spudshaft
    Joined: Feb 28, 2003
    Posts: 514


    When I signed up here basically 20 years ago I was under 30. The HAMB at the time seemed a lot younger, but it dawned on me that the 70 year old guys now were 50 back then. Muscle car guys have this same conversation. I think it is mostly about availability and affordability. They’d work on hot rods if they were cheap and available.
    1929rats, Steve Ray, wicarnut and 2 others like this.
  22. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,913

    anthony myrick

    My 18 year old has a 61 c40 Chevy we built and is restoring a 51 CJ3A.
    Not hot rods but close enough for me.
    He’s starting to dig customs.
    I see lots of young folks building stuff, just not HAMB stuff.
    Just to add some perspective, a Fox body is an old car according to my students.
  23. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,091


    Inflation-adjusted wages have not risen in my entire lifetime, and over some measurement periods, fallen.

    The young folk just do not have the same spending cash that they did when HAMB-era cars ruled the roads.

    I am in my 50's, and I can afford to put $10-15k into a blown Hemi, that might make 500hp.

    A tuner kid can toss a hairdryer on a Civic engine, and make that, oh, and get the rest of the car to go with it.

    I will have 4x that in my car when it is road-worthy, and his will embarrassingly gap mine on the strip, and will corner like a slot car. If he wrecks his, he can strip it, get another stocker, and rebuild.
  24. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,125

    from KCMO

    As mentioned there’s plenty of young guys building old cars. They are just the minority on this platform but not on others.
  25. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,043

    from PNW

    Just a quick look around a 'HAMB traditional' show will give you your answer. Most participants look like refugees from bingo night at Shady Rest Retirement Home. This place may talk a good game, but when a young'en comes on with a question that doesn't quite fit the narrow parameters of this place he's interwebbed bitch slapped. Seen the same at shows and cruise nites. The kid that wandered into my shop years ago, and kinda adopted me, is under thirty. While what he builds isn't HAMB friendly, it definitely is hotrod friendly. BBC, blown, tube framed (engineered and fabricated by him) sand toys, qualifies him as a hotrod builder in my book. He finds drag strips too boring, and highways too limiting. Don't even try and suggest a car show to him. If it ain't moving at WOT he's really not interested. And to me, that type of thinking makes him a hotrodder in my book.
  26. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,043


    This is the Okie Apache. My nephew drives it daily. We built if over a 2 year span. He has since taken a job with a high end restoration shop. The owner likes him and is imparting a lot of good knowledge into him.
  27. I find it funny that the 70 somethings are asking "Are there people under 30 building?"

    20 to 25 years ago it was us young people (now in our late 30s to their mid 40s) who where building traditional hot rods and customs!!

    We were building the cars the way they were with vintage engines, vintage speed parts, 39 Ford or Cad LaSalle transmissions, and Banjo rears driving our primed cars to events like Paso or the Rockabilly Rumble in East Hartford Conn, while they were at the GoodGuys fair grounds type show sitting behind their Boyd built billet laden tech-no rods complaining how all us young guys were ruining hot rodding! Guys like my dad were all for it what us young people were doing!
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
  28. My oldest grandson has the car bug. He's now 19 and says he's done with the imports. Now, he has almost zero $$ but called me up a few days ago all excited with his latest acquisition... a '65 Studebaker Commander 4-dr! LOLOL! He's a wheeler-dealer and says he has zero $$ into this (traded some motorcycle for it) and while it's rough, it is all there and does run. Looks like I'm going to be helping out on this one... He's never seen a set of points or a three-on-the-tree, this should be fun!
  29. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 3,036


    There are some young guys in my area building hot rods, but frankly, The HAMB isn't all that friendly to a lot of younger guys...who (financially) end up getting categorized as building rat rods.
    There is a local group/club of 40 and younger, tattoo'd rockabilly guys that have about half a dozen fenderless Model A (type) hot rods on the road. All are (reasonably) well built and (reasonably) safe and semi-traditional, but a little rough and rusty. None of them are extreme, over the top rat rod builds, but basically just less than $5k builds.
    A couple of these guys are former HAMB members, but when rat rod became a "swear word", they left.
    VooDu52, Steve Ray, wicarnut and 5 others like this.
  30. Duellym
    Joined: Feb 28, 2016
    Posts: 307


    Some of us are trying to, but its like other guys have said I can only do what I can afford to do.

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